First impressions: Japan is vastly different from Korea. Everything down to the Food, history, and culture – Japan is an extremely rich and diverse place to explore. Plus the people are painstakingly polite & nice!

You could live in Tokyo and still not see it all. I attempted to hit the highlights in just a few days – if you have just a short stop in the vibrant city the below are a MUST.

Kabuki

Every seen those pictures of Japanese people with painted faces and crazy expressions? (kind of like what you see below)? Well that is Kabuki – best described as a moving piece of art. Began in the late 1800’s, the performance is rich in history and tradition (as is all of Japan). Kabuki has several sub-sections and types; key to the act of the play is the slow movements and exaggerated emotions, often expressed through its dramatic make-up techniques.

Kabuki is ONLY performed by a certain set of families. As you progress through the ranks you adopt different names according to your age and ability. These actors are just that – actors; no females play in the performance (in fact some male actors specialize in female roles).  The show that you pay for (which was about 3000 yen) is typically 3-4 hours long of short – to long skits involving historical pieces, fables and fight scenes.

Asakusa

I would argue that Asakusa is the best place to visit in Tokyo. It is the ‘old’ part of the city; historical and still preserved, Asakusa gives you a wonder of food, shopping and temples to explore in old fashioned style.

After going there make sure to hit up Shibuya crossing which is the perfect place to showcase exactly how many people live in this large city

Sushi — Do I really have to say it?

If you are one of those terrible people that gets squimish at the thought of raw fish — get over it, close your eyes and dive into the wonderful yummy world of sushi. (and if you are really tried, there’s always noodles, which you can conveniently order out of a vending machine…brilliant!)

Of course there are a lot more areas to hit (try Skytree for the tallest bldg. in the world, Roppongi for the nightlife and the assortment of temples, palaces and gardens). All in all Tokyo is a wonder to explore!

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